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BEST HOTELS

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A look at Ireland’s top accommodat­ion, from highend luxury to bargain stays and everything in between.

Whether you’re looking for a city stay or a country retreat, Ireland has a wealth of top class hotels to choose from.

BEST FOR CITY BREAKS ABSOLUTE HOTEL

Absolute Hotel is a boutique affair with a casual style. A stay here puts you close to Limerick landmarks like King John’s Castle, the Hunt Museum and Thomond Park. The rooms are modern with nods towards the country, while Harry’s on the River on the rst oor serves regional produce from local suppliers like Donie & Emer. An excellent base for exploring the Treaty City. BISHOP’S GATE

A stylish, elegant boutique hotel in a charming building that was once a gentleman’s club frequented by William Butler Yeats. Beside the neoclassic­al courthouse and across the street from the Bishop of Derry’s former residence, you’ll nd yourself close to the city walls and ve minutes walk from the riverfront and the Tower Museum. Accomodati­on is across two grand townhouses, restored to maintain period ttings. There’s 31 rooms including two penthouse suites. BROOKS HOTEL

Brooks Hotel is a distinctiv­e, luxury fourstar boutique hotel in Dublin’s Creative Quarter, a short walk from Grafton Street. Enjoy modern Irish and internatio­nal cuisine at Francesca’s restaurant, a favourite of the critics, where Head Chef Pat McLarnon serves dishes created from locally sourced ingredient­s, including fresh herbs from Brooks’ very own ‘Urban Herb Garden’. Elsewhere, you can also visit Jasmine Bar at Brooks, an award-winning Great Whiskey Bar of the World with over 130 different types

of whiskey. Bedrooms are well appointed and spacious with quirky design. For good measure, the hotel also boasts a private cinema room and a tness centre.

BULLITT HOTEL

Want to stay somewhere with all the necessitie­s, none of the nonsense and extra comfort? Look no further than the Belfast Bullitt Hotel, named in honour of the classic 1968 mob movie starring Steve McQueen. Straddling Victoria Street and Ann Street, the hotel has 74 rooms and three bars including an Espresso Bar. If you’re a foodie (who isn’t?) you can get a good grilling at Taylor & Clay, the in-house restaurant, before washing it down with a Bullitt beer in the Bullitt Bar or head on up to the rooftop bar and garden, Babel – a quirky spot for some seriously cool customers. Bullitt offers a variety of room choices, ranging from ‘Dinky’ over ‘Comfy’ to ‘Roomy’, catering for both those travelling solo and those on a family city break.

CORK AIRPORT HOTEL

Only minutes from Cork Airport and just 15 minutes away from the city centre, Cork Airport Hotel is one of the Rebel County’s nest, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure. When waiting for a ight, nonguests can book into the truly unique Cloud 9 Lounge, which features top-of-the-range leather chairs with built-in music, DVD and TV systems.

IVEAGH GARDEN HOTEL

This superb four-star hotel only opened a year ago and has already made its mark on Irish hotel innovation. In trying to create the lowest carbon footprint possible, it harvests its energy from turbines in a river that ows 50 metres below Harcourt Street. Interiors re ect the Georgian townhouse character of the building with classic touches and luxurious ttings. One of the most indemand locations in the country!

TEN SQUARE

An extraordin­ary boutique hotel located in the centre of Belfast city’s shopping, business and culture hub, Ten Square impresses guests with its uber-stylish, eclectic look. Aesthetics aside, this is the perfect place to spend a busy city centre break, and for a girlie getaway with an irresistib­ly delicious Afternoon Tea.

THE DAVENPORT

Situated in a former prayer hall from the 17th century, this four-star hotel is only a minute’s walk from the best of Georgian Dublin.

Aside from the top-notch accomodati­on, the marble table restaurant and the Davenport bar area both offer excellent food, beverages and afternoon tea in rooms decorated with dark luxurious wood and elegant furnishing­s. Meanwhile, the central location means you’re on the doorstep of some of Dublin’s top attraction­s, including Trinity College, the National Museum of Ireland and the National Gallery.

THE DEAN

Part of a new wave of ambitious Dublin hotels inspired by internatio­nal excellence, the boutique Dean Hotel on Harcourt

Street specialise­s in quirky design and a fashionabl­e vibe. A stay here puts you close to some of the city’s liveliest venues and most popular bars and restaurant­s. Grab a drink in the lobby bar or take in views of the skyline from Sophie’s, the rooftop glasshouse restaurant.

THE IMPERIAL HOTEL

Boasting a very Irish elegance, The Imperial has excellent facilities and an enviable city centre location. Sitting on one of Cork’s oldest and most picturesqu­e streets, you’ll nd the Opera House and Crawford Art Gallery close by. Previous guests have included Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott. Michael Collins spent his nal night at the hotel and his portrait hangs in the hotel reception. There’s the Pembroke Restaurant, the Seventy Six on the Mall Bar, Lafayette’s Brasserie and the luxurious Escape Spa.

THE NORTH STAR

Newly refurbishe­d, the four-star North Star Hotel is convenient­ly located in Dublin’s city centre. The property boasts 235 exceptiona­l guest rooms and suites, offering every amenity to ensure a comfortabl­e and luxurious stay. As well as a fully equipped cardiovasc­ular gym and Scandinavi­an Saunas, the ground oor features an array of vibrant dining experience­s including McGettigan’s Cookhouse and Bar, all day café The Parlor, and trendy loft style cocktail bar The Place. The exclusive Premiere Club Lounge, located on the 7th oor, boasts spectacula­r views of Dublin’s skyline, with compliment­ary refreshmen­ts, newspapers and full wi-fi connectivi­ty. Guests are invited to relax there any time of the day or night.

THE RIVER LEE HOTEL

A smart, stylish hotel with spacious rooms in Cork’s city centre, this is a popular choice for city breaks. St Finbarr’s Cathedral is close to your accomodati­on, as is the Lewis Glucksman Gallery. Lively pubs, music venues and restaurant­s are a short stroll away. The hotel also boasts a 20-metre pool, spa and gym.

THE SHELBOURNE

An institutio­n of Dublin life positioned in the heart of the capital, the ve-star Shelbourne

is the perfect mix of traditiona­l comfort and contempora­ry convenienc­e. It boasts some of the nest dining in the capital, a luxurious spa and leisure club, and the sort of heavenly accommodat­ion that you’ll never want to leave. And when you manage to drag yourself outside the door, you’ll nd yourself right on St. Stephen’s Green, a mere stone’s throw away from all the attraction­s and amenities the city has to offer.

THE WESTBURY HOTEL

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Dublin hotels don’t get more central than The Westbury, an opulent ve-star affair overlookin­g Grafton Street’s buzzing shopping hub. Among its most fabulous attraction­s are The Gallery, a popular rst oor meeting place for Afternoon Tea; the high-art cuisine in the Wilde restaurant; and the 1930s-style glamour of The Sidecar.

BEST FOR COUNTRY GETAWAYS FAITHLEGG

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A must for lovers of history and storytelli­ng, Faithlegg is an 18th century mansion which has been beautifull­y restored. Many of the 66 rooms are named after previous owners of the house, and each have their own unique story. Though the beautiful architectu­re and historical aspects of the house are incomparab­le, their appeal is balanced with all modern convenienc­es. There’s a fully equipped leisure centre with swimming pool, sauna steam room and jacuzzi, an awardwinni­ng restaurant, comfortabl­e bar and lounge areas, and a magnificen­t 18-hole parkland golf course with its own club house and pro shop. Or if you prefer a more independen­t family experience, there’s also a range of self-catering holiday homes.

INCHYDONEY ISLAND LODGE & SPA

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Overlookin­g the Atlantic, surrounded by the natural beauty of West Cork, Inchydoney is one of the most spectacula­r country settings you will find on the island of Ireland. Expect excellent cuisine, luxurious accomodati­on and a wonderful spa for relaxation. The hotel is flanked by two beaches and the charming town of Clonakilty is close by. Enjoy the scenery and know that the attraction­s of Cork City are only 30 miles away.

BREAFFY HOUSE HOTEL

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Breaffy House is one of those extraordin­ary places that we are privileged to have in Ireland. It started life as a great house, and it carries all of that prestige and history.

But times change and what had once been an aristocrat­ic haven is now open to Irish people and visitors alike to indulge themselves. The hotel, which is just ve minutes from the centre of Castlebar, is set in fabulous grounds, with 90 acres of woodland estate for visitors to enjoy. There’s also a spa, with sauna, hot tub and water therapy, as well as a swimming pool and gym. The bedrooms are light and airy – and a good size. The food in the Mulberry Restaurant is excellent. And Breaffy Woods Hotel is also available, if the main house is full. It is a great place for families or couples looking for a romantic weekend away.

RENVYLE HOUSE

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A beautiful historic country house hotel situated in the wild splendour of Connemara, right on the shores of the Atlantic, the Renvyle estate covers 150 stunning acres of Galway soil, which include a private lake, beach, woodlands and gardens. Sporting types will nd plenty to do – golf, tennis, swimming, boating, y- shing, croquet and clay pigeon shooting to start! – while creative guests will do well to test out the painting breaks.

THE CONNEMARA COAST

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You’ll nd the award-winning Connemara Coast just a ten-minute drive from Galway City, overlookin­g the spectacula­r shores of Galway Bay. It’s a highly glamorous old-world hotel boasting exquisite restaurant­s, cosy bars and sumptuous décor. Panoramic views of the bay make the Connemara Coast a hit with loved-up couples and solace-seeking singles alike. As well as being one of the few Galway City hotels with a swimming pool and gym, it’s the perfect starting point for walking trails around Spiddal and Furbo.

BEST FOR TRADITIONA­L CHARM

GHAN HOUSE

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Built in 1727, Ghan House is a real Georgian gem, and one of the oldest private houses of its kind in Ireland, offering just 12 bedrooms in total, four in the main house and eight in the garden annex a few metres away. As Ghan House is also home to a highly-rated cooking school, the rustic cuisine in the restaurant is something special, making terri c use of Carlingfor­d’s natural resources, including herbs from the herb garden, shell sh from the lough and mountainre­ared lamb from nearby Cooley.

MARLFIELD HOUSE HOTEL

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A lavish and luxurious country house open since the 1830s, this is a history buff’s dream. It’s a celebrated stately home, steeped in

old world charm. A visit to the restaurant in the Turner-style conservato­ry, which serves French and Mediterran­ean-inspired cuisine, is an absolute must, as is a stroll around the grounds and lake, home to many different breeds of duck, geese and black swans. Gol ng enthusiast­s can also enjoy a round at the nearby Courtown Golf Club.

BEST FOR RELAXATION DUNBRODY COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL

If you’re looking for luxury and pampering, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful hotel located on the south coast’s dramatic Hook Peninsula. Expect ne food, stunning style and serene spa facilities all tucked away within the centurieso­ld walls of the beautiful Georgian property. The elements of traditiona­l elegance – Irish oak oors, high ceilings, twinkling chandelier­s and crackling turf res – are brought into the 21st century with the addition of all modern amenities, such as wi- , Bose DVD/ CD players, and a chic champagne seafood bar. Meanwhile, the Dunbrody spa – located across the courtyard in an original stone building, and boasting a contempora­ry interior of wood and natural stone – will make you feel cocooned and at ease from the moment you arrive. Offering a unique gourmet experience alongside its Aromathera­py Associates therapies, you can also avour your spa visit with a new range of delicious delicacies designed to be taken between treatments – talk about the perfect sensory experience!

HARVEY’S POINT

Immerse yourself in natural beauty when you stay at this lakeside retreat, close to Donegal Town. The family-owned Harvey’s Point has a superb reputation for their strong sense of Irish hospitalit­y. There are magni cent beaches close by, golf courses, the home of Magee tweed and some beautiful countrysid­e to explore. The Octagonal Bar with an open re opens onto Lough Eske and serves food all day.

PARK HOTEL KENMARE

A supremely decadent hotel, this is a rm favourite with tness buffs, who ock to Kerry for retreats in its SÁMAS spa, an 18-hole golf course and the 25-metre lap pool. As well as being a Victorian landmark, dating from 1897, the hotel is well-known as a centre for peace and tranquilit­y, with almost each of the 46 bedrooms having a full water view or private veranda.

PARKNASILL­A RESORT & SPA

Parknasill­a Resort & Spa comprises 83 luxurious bedrooms and suites and 62 selfcateri­ng lodges and villas, making it perfect for family holidays in the Kerry Mountains. We recommend you enjoy a splash in the sea, a leisurely bike ride or a round of golf, before resting in the serene Spa and Leisure Centre. And to top it all off, you can enjoy a gourmet dinner in the Pygmalion Restaurant. The hotel was a favourite of playwright George Bernard Shaw (hence the Pygmalion reference), who dubbed it “a place of long sea views and intricate walks between ferns and fuchsias”. POWERSCOUR­T HOTEL RESORT & SPA

An impossibly grand, picture-perfect

location, Powerscour­t is one of the most prestigiou­s places to stay in Ireland. Everything is geared towards total relaxation, with the resort an escape for urbanities, nestling in the Wicklow countrysid­e. Enjoy spectacula­r views towards the Sugar Loaf Mountain as you relax in stylish rooms bedecked in chandelier­s and works of art. Modern Irish cooking makes dining a high point of your stay.

SEAFIELD HOTEL & SPA RESORT

Set on 160 acres of tranquil parkland, just an hour from Dublin on the sands of Ballymoney shore, Sea eld Hotel & Spa Resort is one of the most stylish places in Ireland to lay your head, thanks to Italian architect Francesco Beia, who took inspiratio­n from the stunning Ballymoney landscape to create the hotel’s contempora­ry décor. As well as luxurious accommodat­ion, expect ne dining in the Greenroom Restaurant, as well as an exquisite Oceo Spa.

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